SAMBALPUR l wednesday l may 18, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION all green card petitions to get processed in 6 months? An advisory panel has voted to recommend the US president that all green card applications be processed in six months will push for streamlining of process could benefit thousands of Indians The President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI) has recommended that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) remove redundant steps, introduce automation wherever possible and improve its internal dashboards and reporting systems to speed up the process ■ ■ Additionally, the panel will recommend that the National Visa Center, which schedules and conducts visa interviews, double its human resource capacity over the next three months The proposals, if adopted, may benefit thousands of Indians, some of whom have been waiting for decades to get green card 4,21,358 pending interviews in april. only 65K family green cards issued in 2021 CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Protect ‘Linga’, let Muslims free entry to pray: SC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Advocate commissioner leading survey of Gyanvapi sacked; 2 more days to file report A CBI official gestures to the media during a raid at former Union Minister P Chidambaram’s residence in Chennai on Tuesday | R Satish Babu P r at h m a S h a r m a a n d N a m i ta B a j pa i @ New Delhi/Lucknow Karti got `50 lakh from Vedanta Group: ED According to the FIR, Advantage Strategic Consulting, a company linked to Karti, got `50 lakh from the Vedanta Group to organise visas for 263 Chinese nationals in 2011, when P Chidambaram was Union home minister. The visas were meant to help expedite the delayed power project. Vedanta’s offer was made through a chartered accountant S Bhakararaman. The ED’s case is based on, among other things, the emails it retrieved from Bhakararaman’s laptop. His residence and offices were also raided by the sleuths alongside Karti’s bungalow in Delhi’s Lodhi Estate The Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi that is in the eye of a storm | PTI ‘Totally against judicial decorum’ making sense of WPI peak y-o-y (%) 5.54% 3.68% 0.00% and power baskets, inflation stood at 38.66%, whereas in manufactured products it was 10.85% and oil seeds 16.10%. Also, oore inflation accelerated for the third consecutive month to 11.1 per cent from 10.9 per cent in March 2022. “We see June’s policy to be super-live, and the monetary Four wanted in the 1993 Mumbai blasts arrested Ahmedabad: The Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad has arrested four persons wanted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, officials said on Tuesday. Abu Bakar, Saiyad Qureshi, Mohammad Shoeb Qureshi alias Shoeb Bawa and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail alias Yusuf Bhatka, all residents of Mumbai, were on the run for 29 years, they said | p8 Lankan Oppn fails to suspend Parliament’s standing orders A vendor sprinkling water on lychees, to prevent them from drying, on a roadside in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday | Express New Delhi: While Sri Lanka is struggling to hold on to its reserves of essentials like fuel, one of the most awaited events of the day was the proceedings in the parliament. Tamil National Alliance MP A Sumanthiran had proposed to suspend the parliament’s standing orders to debate for a no-confidence motion against President Gotabaya | P9 OHRC seeks report from OCA, DCP on Barabati fire safety E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Days after a massive blaze at a commercial building in Delhi claimed at least 27 lives, Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has sought a report from the authorities concerned regarding the fire safety measures at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack ahead of India and South Africa T20 international on June 12. Acting on a petition of one Nishikanta Mishra alleging Barabati Stadium having a seating capacity of more than 44,000 spectators does not have any fire safety system the Commission has issued notice to the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) and DCP Cuttack. The petitioner had also brought to OHRC’s notice the Central Range Fire Officer’s letter to OCA requesting to apply for Barabati Stadium’s fire safety certificate under Odisha Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Rules, 2017, and Odisha Fire Prevention and Fire Safety (Amendment) Rules, 2019. “After considering the submission, the Commission is of the view that during the cricket match, fire safety system is of paramount importance,” read the notice of OHRC, asking OCA Secretary and DCP to submit their reports by May 26. OCA officials acknowledged that the stadium does not have a fire safe- Apr 2022 policy committee may frontload rates by another 25-50 basis points. FY23 could thus further see rates going up by 100-125 basis points, with the RBI now showing its intent to keep real rates above neutral,” said Madhavi Arora, lead economist at Emkay Global Financial Services. express read Keeping Fresh -1.57% Oct 2021 Apr 2019 Oct 2018 Apr 2018 Oct 2017 Apr 2017 Oct 2016 -1.9% Apr 2016 Oct 2015 Apr 2015 -4.76% 1.31% 3.62% 0.87% -3.42% 3.24% Apr 2021 1.27% Oct 2020 3.85% 3.72% 10.74% Oct 2019 6.70% 5.06% Oct 2014 India’s wholesale price-based inflation jumped to an all-time high of 15.08% due to acrossthe-board rise in prices, including those of food and fuel. Continuous high inflation — both retail and wholesale — would further put pressure on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hike interest rates in its June monetary policy . The WPI inflation has been in double digits perpetually for the last 13 months. Overall inflation in food articles was recorded at 8.35%. In the food basket, the highest inflation was observed in the items like vegetables, potato, fruits and wheat at 23.24%, 19.84%, 10.89% and 10.70%, respectively Crude pe. troleum and natural gas rose by 69.07% year-on-year, while petrol witnessed a surge in prices by 60.63%. In the fuel 15.08% 13.83% Apr 2020 M o n i k a Ya d a v @ New Delhi Oct 2013 Mishra for engaging a private cameraman for the Gyanvapi survey who went about leaking information to the media in flagrant violation of the confidentiality mandate. It was special advocate commissioner Vishal Singh who outed Mishra’s lensman R P Singh leaking the survey’s proceedings. Singh has now been tasked with submitting the survey report and granted two days to do so. Meanwhile, a couple of fresh petitions were filed seeking permission to perform puja of the ‘Shivalinga’ besides ordering demolition of walls of the basements on the premises and removal of debris for collection of more evidence. The Committee officials have been asked to review the global market status Cyclone Titli, which ravaged Gajapati for red sanders and also approve the gendistrict in 2018, is all set to bring windfall eral, special and buyers-specific terms gains for the State government after four and conditions for e-auction sale of the years. The government is likely to earn timber often described as ‘red gold.’ over `500 crore from the sale of red sand“As soon as the terms and conditions ers, also known as red sandalwood or are finalised we will go for international ‘Rakta Chandan’, that were bidding,” said Principal Chief felled by the cyclone. Conservator of Forests (PCCF) The red sanders are said to be Sisir Kumar Ratho. over 100 years old. The trees had He said the terms and condibeen planted by the then Mahations finalised a few months The red sanders raja of Parlakhemundi in 1912. are said to be over back required some changes, acThe density of the wood is also 100 years old. The cordingly the OFDC has been trees had been said to be much more compared asked to submit a fresh proposal planted by the to other red sandalwood found to the gover nment at the then Maharaja of in the country, thus likely to earliest. Parlakhemundi in fetch high price. Though the State government 1912. Their density Officials in the State Forest, expects to earn a revenue of is also more than Environment and Climate around `500 crore from the glonormal red Change department said proc- sandalwood found bal sale of the timber, officials elswehere ess has been initiated for global said the auction could fetch e-tendering and e-auction sale much more than the expected Forest officials of 810.18 tonne timber that have value as price of high-grade red been recovered from the trees. sanders sometimes do cross `1 After Centre relaxed the export norms crore per tonne in the international for Odisha to sell the valuable wood last market. year, the Forest department has formed a Red sanders has also been included in committee involving Odisha Forest De- the ‘endangered’ category of Internationvelopment Corporation (OFDC) to pre- al Union for Conservation of Nature’s pare terms of reference and determine a (IUCN) Red List. There are only around suitable strategy for marketing of the 60 living trees in the district that have wood in log form. survived the cyclone, officials said. S u d a r s a n M a h a r a n a @ Bhubaneswar Wholesale inflation at record high of 15% Apr 2014 “Ajay Kumar Mishra performed his duties as advocate commissioner very irresponsibly. A probe shows that a private photographer was engaged by him and he kept giving media bytes that were totally against judicial decorum,” trial court judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar said Keeping up the pressure on senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, the CBI on Tuesday conducted raids and searches at his son Karti’s residence and office premises across nine cities, in a fresh case relating to alleged acceptance of `50 lakh bribe for facilitating visas for Chinese employees working for a power project in Punjab. The raids were carried out at Chidambarams’ properties in Chennai, Mumbai, Koppal (Karnataka), Mansa (Punjab) and Jharsuguda (Odisha), CBI sources said, even as the agency was wary of disclosing the nature of documents it seized in the course of its operations. Chidambaram’s son Karti is alleged to have taken the bribe in 2011 for facilitating visas for about 300 the Chinese employees working at the Talwandi Sabo Power Project in Punjab. A super-critical 1,980 MW thermal power project, the Talwandi Sabo plant is located at Banawala in Punjab’s Mansa district. This is the second time Karti has come under the CBI’s scanner. He was previously probed in the Aircel-Maxis and the INX Media cases. Karti was arrested in 2018 in the INX Media case. This was followed a year later with the CBI arresting Chidambaram. According to the FIR, Karti accepted a gratification of `50 lakh for facilitating visas for the Chinese nationals. The money was allegedly sent to an account of one of Karti’s companies to “devise a back door way to defeat the home ministry ceiling on visa”. Apr 2013 The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that the area where a ‘Shivalinga’ was indicated to have been found in the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi a day ago should be fully protected, but the rights of Muslims to enter and offer prayers must not be infringed. The court was hearing a petition challenging a Allahabad High Court order that had permitted the inspection and videography of the premises. “In order to obviate any dispute on the meaning and content of the order of the trial judge, the operation and ambit of the order dated 16 May 2022 shall stand restricted to the extent that the District Magistrate, Varanasi shall ensure that the area where the Shivalinga is stated to have been found, as indicated in the order, shall be duly protected. The above direction shall not in any manner restrain or impede the access of Muslims to the mosque or the use of the mosque for the purpose of performing namaz and religious observance,” a bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud said in its interim order. Senior advocate Hufeza Ahmadi, appearing for the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee, sought a stay in the trial court’s proceedings in Varanasi. “The order (to seal the wuzu khana where the Shivalinga was said to have been found) was passed ex-parte without serving to us...What was the tearing hurry the way the premises was sealed?” he asked. However, the bench refused to issue a stay order. The court issued notices to the petitioners and the UP government and posted the matter for next hearing on May 19. In Varanasi, trial court judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar sacked his court-appointed advocate commissioner Ajay Kumar Odisha eyes `500 cr from red sanders felled by Titli CBI raids premises of PC, karti in cash-for-visa case ty certificate but they ensure adequate arrangements are in place during an international match. OCA Secretary Sanjay Behera said, “ After going through the Commission’s notice, we will file our reply This T20I . is the 27th international cricket match to be played at Barabati Stadium and like every time, adequate fire safety arrangements will be made to avoid any untoward incident.” All precautions are taken during an international match, he said. Just a few days ago, retail inflation data registered an eightyear high at 7.79% in April. In a bid to tame inflation, the RBI this month raised the repo rate by 40 basis points to 4.4% and cash reserve ratio by 0.5%. Meanwhile, days after the Union commerce ministry banned wheat exports, on Tuesday it gave some relaxation to consignments registered with the customs on or before May 13. It also allowed a wheat consignment headed for Egypt, which was already under loading at the Kandla port. “The order served three main purposes: ensure India’s food security and check inflation, it helps other countries facing food deficit, and it maintains India’s reliability as a supplier. The order also aimed to provide a clear direction to the wheat market to prevent hoarding,” the Centre said in a statement. seven killed as heavy rains lash assam Landslides and floods have breached embankments at 16 locations, cut off rail and road links in Assam, affecting close to two lakh people in 20 districts | P8
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